Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Queen's University
Search Type
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Physics PhD candidate Matt Shultz discovers first massive binary star

magnetosphere

Image: The red (north)or blue (south) show the polarity of the star's surface magnetic field. Yellow lines indicate the magnetic field lines running from the stellar surfaces.
Visualisation courtesy of Volkmar Holzwarth, KIS, Freiburg

Matt Shultz, a PhD candidate from the Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy has discovered the first massive binary star, called epsilon Lupi, in which both stars have magnetic fields.

In collaboration with BinaMIcS (Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in various classes of Stars), formed a few years ago to study magnetic properties of close binaries, epsilon Lupi was discovered using the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope.

Shultz states, 

The origin of magnetism amongst massive stars is something of a mystery, and this discovery may help to shed some light on the question of why these stars have magnetic fields.

For more information on the discovery of the first massive binary star: Queen's Gazette Story

For the research publication: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society